Friday, July 31, 2015

CHIPS !!! Yes They are Delicious AND Healthy !

Next time you have a craving for something crunchy and salty that’s dipped into something cold and creamy, try these chips made from zucchini!!! They’re seasoned and baked until crisp with spices that you can choose to make them sweet or spicy !
Then they get dunked into a cool, tangy yogurt dip, which provides the protein to make this snack completely balanced. For crispy chips, you need to cut your zucchini very thin. This is where a mandoline slicer comes into play. If you don’t have one, no worries, a very sharp chef’s knife will work.
Zucchini serves as a good source of vitamin C. A water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C dissolves in your body fluids and protects your cells from free radicals.
Zucchini also provides you with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients that belong to the carotenoid family, which is the same nutrient family that includes beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. Lutein and zeaxanthin promote healthy eyesight. They filter light rays as they enter your eye, helping to ensure that harmful rays can't damage your eye tissues.
Zucchini is effective for weight management due to its healthy combination of high fiber and moisture content and a low calorie content.It controls your appetite by filling you up with water and fiber. Thus, you can have larger servings of zucchini and still keep your caloric intake low.The high dietary fiber enables you to shed extra pounds as it helps to burn more calories than you consume.
Zucchini is a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamin A and C and dietary fiber, you can effectively lose weight by consuming it without depriving your body of vital nutrients.

SaraBurda's photo.

Zucchini Chips
Makes 2 generous servings
1 zucchini
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, melted
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
juice and zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Slice the zucchini on a mandoline or very thinly with a chef’s knife.
Mix the spices and melted coconut oil in a large bowl. Add the vegetable slices and toss to coat. Place the vegetable slices on the sheet pans in rows, next to each other but not overlapping.
Bake for one hour.
After an hour, if the zucchini looks lightly golden, remove from oven.
Let cool.
Meanwhile, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator until vegetables are cool.
Serve vegetables with dip. Leftovers will keep for a few days in a sealed container.
Nutrition facts (per serving): calories 74, total fat 7 g, carbs 21 g, fiber 3 g, protein 8 g

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Keep it Focused!

Some days when you have good intentions of hitting the gym hard and you get there your motivation starts to slightly slip backwards. We are all guilty of this, from being distracted by our friends, outside life or just plain tired from work, it happens. Here are some common signs and simple solutions on how to stay focused and make your time worth every second ! 

1.)You spend more time texting than you do squatting.

Leave your phone in your bad in a locker or in the car. Cut the ties with your social media for an hour and just focus on the gym. If you really need to have your phone on you, make sure that it's just for keeping track of your workout rest times and not for taking selfies!

2.) You dread going to the gym and just go through the motions.

It might be time to change things up. Try taking a group fitness class, team up with a friend, or take your training outside to make things new and different, and reignite your passion for exercise. Creating change in your routine can also help you miss a plateau and keep the results coming !

3.)Your mind wanders while you’re training.

Sit in the locker room pr in your car for five minutes and mentally put your worries and stresses aside. When training, focus intently on the muscle you’re working and find that mind muscle connection. It's important to really become engaged in your workout and not just drift off when training.

4.)You do the same workout day after day, week after week.

You’re in a rut. Change the variables to make things interesting and kick-start your progress. Things to consider changing up are your rep ranges, weights used, exercises, bodypart splits or rest intervals. I rather change things up frequently to prevent boredom and always have something to look forward too!

5.)You count the minutes — no, the seconds — on the treadmill and hang onto the rails as you plod along.

Do a Tabata treadmill workout to burn a ton of calories and fat. Bonus: It’s only four minutes long, and there’s no way you’ll be able to hang onto the rails and zone out with this kind of intensity! Hanging on just takes your training down a notch not up ! You are decreasing the load on your legs when you hang on and decreasing the calories that you could be burning! Try doing interval sprints or take your workout to the track and do plyos!

6.)You stopped pushing yourself and just go through the motions.

Re-evaluate your goals and reasons for training in the gym and write them down. Maybe you need to try a new activity for a while, then revisit the gym in a few weeks, or you need to find a new goal worth achieving such as a road race, a challenging hike or even a fitness competition. When you hit a mental block you need to find your passion again! Do what you enjoy instead of doing it for weight loss !

With all these tips try to take them and utilize them to create long term and lasting goals. Don't just go through the motions of training but really focus and have intention !


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Healthy Energy Bar!

SaraBurda's photo.
Energy bars are easy to make at home and you can make a big batch, divide them out and freeze the rest. Homemade energy bars often contain dates because they are a good source of carbohydrates and help keep the bar together. Think of bars like Lara Bars which are primarily made with dates and raisins. Nuts, seeds, and nut butter are also part of most homemade bars because of their fat and protein content. Having a healthy source of fat helps to keep your body feeling full and energized especially post workout.
You can easily adapt and change this recipe by adding new spices, dark chocolate, or different types of nuts and seeds. You can also alternate the type of sugar, for instance using stevia or coconut sugar, as well as change up the type of flour. But a word of caution when changing the flour, be sure to read the ratio between them because some are not a 1:1 ratio of flour !!!
Homemade Nut and Fruit Bar
95g chopped walnuts
2 ripe bananas
120ml vegetable oil
200g granulated sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
230g rolled oats
95g flour or gluten-free flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
90g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven at 355°F.
Toast the walnuts on the oven for 8 minutes or on a pan.
Mix the bananas, the oil, the sugar and the vanilla in a bowl.
Add the dried ingredients.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 20cm x 20cm baking tray.
Once they are cool, cut into squares based on serving sizes and individually wrap them to freeze for an easy on the go option !

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Heat It UP !

Summertime is HOT and it's HUMID ! But that doesn't mean that you can't take your workout outside. There are actually some benefits that can help your body adapt to the extra heat and help your body perform BETTER ! Training in the heat may be more beneficial for fitness than doing equivalent training in cooler weather and the facts are very interesting. So before you think that you want to keep it in the cooler environment, keep reading to maybe ope up that opportunity for a better workout and extra benefits !
Heat acclimation improves the body’s ability to control body temperature, improves sweating and increases blood flow through the skin, and expands blood volume allowing the heart to pump more blood to muscles, organs and the skin as needed. Your body has an incredible way to regulate heat, humidity, and hydration which all play a role in physical performance.
Here are 6 reasons why you should exercise in the heat !
1. It can increase your physical capacity. There have been studies that show that training in hot weather increases your fitness level. Your body learns how to work out at a more intense level, so when you are in “normal” conditions, it feels easier.
2. It can help make your body more efficient and efficiency is what makes you faster. Exercising in the heat helps make your body more efficient, which is always a bonus. Basically, the hot weather requires the body to increase its blood flow. Since it expands its volume, it can pump more blood out to vital organ which helps make your hearts more efficient.
3. It helps you build your mental fitness. Exercising in the heat is really challenging but one it can increase your mental toughness. If you can make it through a tough workout when it’s really hot you know that you can make it when the temperatures are cooler!
4. Heat helps you vary your workouts. Think about doing a circuit training with water breaks in between. Whatever it is, heat will help you get creative so you can still get your workout on without getting sick.
5. You learn how to sweat better. The point of sweating is to regulate your body temperature better. The better you sweat, the cooler you are. So definitely this is an added bonus that your body becomes more efficient at handling hot weather after training in it. The more you sweat your body then needs to work harder thus it increases the calorie burn past the workout!
6. A really good excuse to eat more carbs. Due to your body working HARDER to regulate your temperature, you NEED more fuel and by this I mean carbs ! You need to make sure you are eating enough daily to compensate for the extra hard workouts!
But I do give some words of caution when exercising in the heat!
Try not to exercise in temperatures above 90 degrees unless you are already in good shape. Aerobic fitness enhances heat-training capacity just as heat training enhances aerobic fitness. No matter how fit you are, it's very important that you give yourself a chance to gently acclimatize to training in hot weather before you attempt any kind of challenging workout in the heat. You can do this both by doing shorter, slower workouts in very high temperatures (90 to 100 degrees) and by doing normal workouts in progressively warmer temperatures (75, then 80, then 85, etc). Avoid training in temperatures much higher than 100 degrees.
So before just heading into AC, try to incorporate heat workouts at least 1 or 2 times a week ! You can increase your metabolic rate and enhance performance all at the same time !

Monday, July 27, 2015

Muscle Confusion For Training Adaptation!

SaraBurda's photo.

The muscle confusion theory is fairly simple: by changing your workouts regularly, you keep your muscles “guessing” and avoid plateaus. Sounds pretty common when you see TV programs like p90x and insanity that preach this theory.
A lot of group classes, bootcamps, and workout videos claim to use this concept to get you results, but it’s really just one of the principles that govern how your body adapts to exercise. When it comes to changing your physique there is much more to consider. So how much "confusion" is necessary? Does it really work when trying to develop and build muscle over time ?
It is true that at SOME point you need to add variety. Your body is a very adaptable machine that is good at using what it has and conserving the rest for functioning in life. But just doing a lot of confusion with out a plan can just leave your frustrated and running in circles trying to get in a workout. You need to develop a purpose with progression that is consistent towards a specific goal, like getting bigger (hypertrophy), stronger (more weight), faster (speed) or lasting longer (endurance). Defining intent and planning your exercises to meet that intent, means that you get quality progression and adaptation. It also means, you’ll know when it’s time to change it up.
This is where planning, tracking, and learning your body is very important in training. You need to make sure you are creating a consistent plan for achieving your results and you need clear and defined goals going into it. This is how you can determine when it is time for a change. When you start to notice that your strength level has stalled or your cardio is not at optimal performance, you might need to activate and awaken new muscle fibers by changing up your routine.
Ask yourself these questions:
How am I measuring my progress?
How do I define progress specifically?
How do I measure my own consistency?
What are my indicators of success or failure?
Planning your workouts with this frame of mind will keep you more engaged with how you train for specific goals. Progressive programs usually run anywhere from 6 weeks to several months and over the course of time. Pick one a plan and define your goals to stick with long enough to get results you can measure before changing it up.
Prepare, plan, and take action !

Friday, July 24, 2015

Spice it up Right !

SaraBurda's photo.
Need a new flavor to "SPICE" up an old recipe ? Trying new flavors can unleash a new aspect on that boring chicken meal and create something delicious. One spice I want to share is Tumeric. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which gives it that mustard color hue.
Curcumin is best known for helping the low-grade inflammation in the body that many people consider on of the chronic ailments including heart disease, memory loss, arthritis and diabetes. The natural anti-inflammatory action of turmeric may also help waylay post-workout muscle soreness allowing you get back on the gym floor quicker.
Curcumin can keep your heart in optimal shape is by increasing the dilation of blood vessels thereby allowing more blood flow to the heart much the same way that regular bouts of aerobic exercise does. Curcumin’s anti-aging prowess also extends to its ability to kill off cancerous cells and improve brain functioning to warding off Alzheimer's disease.
So how do you incorporate this spice into your food prep?Turmeric is also a main spice in various curry powder mixtures. I have a few awesome ideas for you to try out.
First you can sprinkle turmeric on cauliflower florets before roasting or you can blend into dips like hummus. If you want your morning to start with a kick stir into scrambled eggs or add it to your lunch for a spicy tuna salad.
For a protein-packed snack, simmer frozen shelled edamame until tender and then season with turmeric and a pinch of salt.
For a healing drink, heat almond milk in a saucepan until warm to the touch and then stir in 1/2 teaspoon each turmeric and cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder and honey to taste.
Other common things that Tumeric is great for besides cooking are:
-It's a natural liver detoxifier which is great for the internal functioning of your body.
-It aslo may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
-Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
-It's a natural pain killer
Tumeric can be taken as a pill or in a spice form and you can generally find it at the local grocery store ! Try it out and see the amazing effects it has !

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sleep is Vital !

SaraBurda's photo.
We all know that getting a good nights sleep is vital to feeling your best as well as recovering from the previous day. If you are like many American's, sleeping 8 hours rarely happens and your lucky enough to get maybe 5 hours of "good" sleep per night. You might be sabotaging your sleep with these common mistakes that can keep you from getting the solid shut eye you need!
First off, stop the binge watching on Netflix. Yes I am totally guilty of this as well. It's hard when you get into a show and just can't seem to stop watching it. Of course when you stay up ALL night to watch a show, your sleep is compromised then leaving you grumpy the next day. So next time you want to binge watch your favorite show, make sure that it is on a weekend !!
You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach on Sunday night where you start to think about how much you have to do in the week ahead, how you're still kind of tired from the weekend, and how is it almost Monday already?! This is actually an issue that many of us face. The Sunday night anxiety can totally mess with your sleeping patterns making it hard to just turn off those thoughts and relax.The best solution is some mindful meditation to relax those thoughts.
Keep your work at work and make a specific time to STOP all work related business. You might think that you are getting a jump start on the upcoming week but you are just deepening the stress on your mind. Try to stop working by 8 PM if ABSOLUTELY necessary to keep working when you should be winding down at night.
Keep that caffeine addiction to early afternoon if you don't want it to affect your sleeping patterns. Even foods such as alcohol, aged and fermented foods, tomato-based products, and even too much water can all keep you up at night. Be sure to keep your body fueled with healthy foods that will put you sound asleep and drink some calming tea before bedtime.
Stress is one of the worst feelings in the world. It plays on your mind and your body. The specific way in which you deal with your stress can impact your sleep patterns. Those who can handle stress by distracting themselves, thinking about it constantly, or ignoring it completely had higher rates of insomnia than those who handled it with positive reframing, humor, religion, and venting.
Lastly, create a scheduled bedtime that will be easy to stick to and STICK TO IT. Yes weekends too. When you throw off your bodies rhythm you are just furthering your sleep deficit. You can't 'bank' your sleep time from one day to the next but you can take some amazing naps in the middle of the day to get a little refresher !
Take these tips and really learn to listen to your body. Always know that sleep is required for good health just like exercise and healthy eating.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Start Your Fitness Journey TODAY

Are you a beginner to fitness and don't know where to start ?? Sometimes taking that first step out of your comfort zone is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle change. You need to be fully commited to the idea of changing your OWN behaviors before you can really start to see changes. Half the effort means half the results. My theory is that if you are going to do something and your already at the gym, just do it and make it count !
BUT I do have some awesome tips that Pauline Nordin, who is a fitness professional, gives for beginners !
1. Don't stress! You're going to make a change for life, so let yourself plenty of time to get in the groove.
2. Write down 3 reasons why you want to get in shape and read them daily.
3. Set up short term and long term goals. A short term one might be get to the gym 3 times the first week, a long term goal can be to lose 50 lbs of body fat and gain muscle.
4. Eat a variety of veggies to find your favorite ones.
5. Log what you do in the gym. You'll get psyched when you see the weights you use go up and up and up.
6. Remember we ALL start from scratch. Don't be discouraged "everyone is in better shape". YOU WILL GET THERE too!
7. Tell your friends and family about your goals. Even though they might not support it, you'll be more accountable to stay the course since you need to prove them you can do it.
8. Be proud of yourself for doing what most people don't!
9. Remember it takes time to gain muscle. Imagine where you will be in 6 months of hard work. You'll be sporting another body and you'll be energized.
10. Learn to work your diet so you can do all the travel, social events, birthdays etc without being side tracked.
Looking at the above tips you can see that fitness goes WAY beyond the gym. It takes a lot of time and dedication to ensure that you are getting the results you want. Put in the work and you will surly see the aftermath ! If you ever need help with working out make sure that you contact me or visit Fitness Heroics where I work in FWB !

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Healthy Eating on the GO !

With the summer here, many of us are taking vacations and that means that you need to be prepped and planned when traveling with meals. For many of you, vacations tend to be just that... a vacation from EVERYTHING ! Well in order to be consistent you need to have some type of plan and structure. Vacations do not mean that you have to just forget about everything and blow off your healthy lifestyle! It's easy if you take a few simple steps in that direction to just plan accordingly!

Having a structured diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy yourself and your vacation, BUT that does not mean that when you take a summer vacation mean you should put your fitness and nutrition goals on hold. It’s all about maintaining balance, being flexible, and having a plan.

On the "BIG" travel day whether you are driving or flying, having healthy pre-packaged meals is KEY to you staying on track. It's so easy when you are busy in an airport to just grab and go or when driving to have mindless eating. Make a point to grab healthy snacks and have meals prepared in a cooler. It's helpful to also carry last-minute options in my carry-on like protein powder, individual servings of tuna, almonds, and protein bars. This ensures that no matter what happens you won’t be stuck without something healthy to eat.

If you are on the road and stop at a restaurant you DO have the choice on a healthy meal. You can often purchase fresh salads or vegetables and add your own prepared protein source and top it with your own healthy dressing such as individual servings of mustard, Walden Farms salad dressings and syrups, nut butter, and stevia. That way you can customize any meals for enjoyment and feel satisfied despite being on the go.

If you’re doing restaurant meals, you can always order a plain grilled piece of chicken, fish, or shrimp and add it to tossed salad or steamed/grilled veggies. Trust me, no one will notice if you add your own dressing. Plus if you "customize" an order you will ensure that your getting a FRESH piece of food ! Double Score !

If you are staying at a hotel, be sure to see if it has a microwave and mini fridge. If your lucky you might be able to find a place that has a mini kitchen !! Another lifesaver on the road is packing your own electric grill. I have a small George Foreman that fits about three chicken breasts and easily packs in my checked luggage. Once I arrive at my destination, I scope out the nearest grocery stores and farmers markets to get fresh protein to replenish my frozen supply, as well as fat sources, fruits, and veggies.

If your hotel has a breakfast you can usually find hard boiled eggs and just scoop out the yolk. BUT the oats they make are made with heavy cream and butter ( thats why they taste so good). Try to stick to yogurts that have a label and fresh fruit !!

Driving long hours and going to convenient store you still have healthy choices ! You can always find something to make your program work if you ran out of pre-cooked and cooler-ready meals. In terms of protein, hardboiled eggs, canned tuna, protein bars, protein shakes, cottage cheese, and yogurt are some great options. You can always find a protein shake that has essentially zero fat, zero sugar, and 25-30 grams of protein.

This might seem extreme to some, but I follow the motto “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” My fitness goals require extreme dedication and awareness of my food choices. So it’s worth it for me to plan ahead.That being said, I’m a true believer in finding balance and making room for indulgences, especially when on vacation. By planning ahead so you can avoid any unexpected or extra deviations that will take you further away from reaching your goals, you can truly enjoy your indulgences.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ready For a Challenge ?


Do you want to take your fitness to a new level?

Are you able to embark on a three month journey with me as your guide ? 

Let me help you learn about nutrition, teach you about effective training techniques and get you healthy, strong and breaking boundaries that you never thought were possible!!

Let's begin a journey together ! I am certified as a ISSA personal trainer, Sports nutritional specialist and CF-L1 trainer. I also have a B.S. in Health and physical education. My goals are to work WITH you and be hands on to create knowledge and power ! Your greatest success will come from you believing in you and UNDERSTANDING the why behind what you do in fitness and nutrition!  


Get started with me today !!! Contact me for more details about pricing and how YOU can really start on your own personal wellness journey ! If you are serious about getting results I am here to guide you!


Fun in the SUN !

SaraBurda's photo.
It's summer ! You are ready for vacation, outdoor workouts, playing in the sun and swimming !!! The one thing that also comes along with that is the dreaded sunburn. It's important that you are protecting your skin when you are outside but there are sometimes that you happen to miss a spot or two or just forget and then get burnt !
No fear.. I have remedies that can calm that burn and get your skin feeling better in no time at all !
Drink MORE water ! Not only is it essential for you body to function but it's also important for your skin to stay hydrated. Tha is because sunburned skin is dehydrated skin, hence the peeling that follows the initial burn, so drinking plenty of water replenishes your skin's lack of moisture from the inside out.
Take an oatmeal bath ! Who would have thought that by bathing in oats can relieve the sunburn pain that you have.The polyphenols in oats may reduce itching and inflammation. Simply grab the oats from your pantry (any kind will work), grind them to a very fine powder in a blender or food processor, then add to your bath. Dry milk powder will also add additional soothing qualities. The milk's lactic acid hydrates and calms skin.
Use Aloe vera gel to sooth itchy and inflamed skin. Also think of getting your body repaired from the inside out. For topical healing, spread vitamin E oil if a capsule prick and squeeze the oil out and apply directly on the burn. Argan oil and coconut oil can also help the fatty acids helps relieve inflammation and restore moisture.
Witch hazel has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties and tannins, explains Tedaldi, making it great for treating sunburn. At the beginning of summer, soak gauze pads in witch hazel, place them in a ziplock bag, and put them in the freezer. After a day of too much sun, take out your frozen compresses and place them on your sunburn for immediate relief.
Getting a sunburn is no fun. It can put a damper on your beach plans and just ruins your night. Stay safe and apply sunscreen OFTEN and BEFORE you even go outside. If you feel like your burning you probably are and then its too late !

Friday, July 17, 2015

Which is better: Dairy or Milk Alternatives ?

Walk down the milk isle and now you have an array of "other" dairy options to choose from. Regular cow's milk is now just one of the many choices you can make and sometimes deciding what is the best can be a daunting task.The shelves are lined with a variety of milk alternatives made from nuts, seeds, and beans that also promise to do your body good. Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan, or simply in search of a little dietary variety, these "milks" can offer a viable option to float your morning cereal.
So here are some dairy alternatives that you can try with your breakfast or anytime !
SaraBurda's photo.Almond Milk
-It's a dairy-free liquid is made from skinned almonds that are ground finely with water and then filtered to remove solids. It's one of the least-expensive milk options, and its mild nutty taste can enhance post-workout shakes, a bowl of cereal, pureed soups, or even a batch of protein muffins.Almond milk is free of saturated fat. It's also typically high in vitamin E.
Cashew Milk
-Cashew milk is often fortified with a range of useful nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and zinc. Zinc plays a role in thousands of different enzymatic reactions in the human body, including those involved in testosterone production. However, there remains a question about how well the body absorbs vitamins and minerals added to dairy-free milks compared to what's naturally present in foods such as the calcium found in authentic milk.
Hemp Milk
-This groovy beverage is made by blending hemp seeds with water to produce a drink with a distinctive earthy-nutty flavor that can take a little bit of getting used to. Hemp milk delivers higher levels of omega-3 fat than other nondairy drinks. Hemp milk is also a dietary source of iron, which is absent in cow's milk. Required for delivering oxygen to muscles and brain cells, iron is necessary to keep your energy levels up on the gym floor and prevent brain fog. Unlike soy, hemp is never genetically modified, and it's an option for those who need to avoid common allergens like nuts, dairy, soy, or gluten.
Coconut Milk
-Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.Coconut milk is different to coconut water. The latter has received a great deal of attention for it's perceived health benefits.The unique medium-chain-fatty acids (MCFAs) found in coconut are thought to increase metabolism, but their impact on tangible fat loss remains controversial.
Rice Milk
-This milk alternative is made by blending together cooked rice with water and then adding enzymes to convert starches to sugars. Rice milk's sweet undertones and smooth texture make it a popular nondairy option for coffee, smoothies, and desserts.Since rice is considered hypoallergenic, the drink it produces is a safe option for those with food sensitivities to dairy, nuts, or soy. As with other nondairy alternatives, rice milk is now often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to help maintain strong bones. But be sure to give the container a very good shake to help redistribute any added vitamins and mineral.
While you can often find these nondairy milks in natural-food stores and the health-food section of grocers, they shouldn't be considered healthy or "whole foods" in the same way nuts, seeds, vegetables, or even good old-fashioned milk are. While it's OK to consume them in moderation, you shouldn't always guzzle them back with expectations that they're ideal for your fitness goals. Each milk can serve a unique function, but due to the overall lack of protein, we're still willing to cry over real spilled milk!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Plan Ahead !

We all know that it takes 3500 calories to burn off a pound of fat. Counting calories can become time consuming and frustrating if you start getting fixated on the numbers. This frustration can also lead to you not keeping track of "everything" you eat. So what is the alternative ? Weighing and measuring your foods is the next alternative to calorie counting.Weighing and measuring your food can help you reach your goals, no matter what they are.
So lets take a little breakdown of what and how to measure your foods,I recommend eating 0.7–1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Ideally, it should be by pound of lean body mass, but in order to do that you must know your body fat first (to find that, subtract your fat pounds from your body weight and that’s your lean body mass).
If, for instance, you’re a highly active person going to the gym 1–2 times a day and have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, you’re going to veer on the side of higher protein for optimal results. If you’re looking to lose weight, then you’re going to lean closer to 0.7–1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Next is carbohydrates.I recommend staying around 100 grams of carbs per day (you don’t have to count vegetables). You can divvy those carbs up throughout your meals, putting the larger carb amounts closer to your workouts. Again, if you are a highly active person or doing a high-intensity training program like CrossFit, MMA or triathlon training, 100 grams may not be enough for you and you may find that you need to increase your carb intake.
Eating the final component to your diet is fat. I recommend consciously consuming your fats in seeds and nuts, olive oil and coconut oil, and with meat on the bone. I think of fats more in terms of percentages rather than grams.
if you choose to eat healthy well planned meals that are made from clean choices, your body will thank you for doing that. If you start to eat for performance and not for just eating out of comfort. In order for it to function throughout the day it requires the top-of the line fuel, you will be on your way to making wiser food choices and more disciplined health decisions!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015



Do you want to take your fitness to a new level?

Are you able to embark on a three month journey with me as your guide ? 

Let me help you learn about nutrition, teach you about effective training techniques and get you healthy, strong and breaking boundaries that you never thought were possible!!

Let's begin a journey together ! I am certified as a ISSA personal trainer, Sports nutritional specialist and CF-L1 trainer. I also have a B.S. in Health and physical education. My goals are to work WITH you and be hands on to create knowledge and power ! Your greatest success will come from you believing in you and UNDERSTANDING the why behind what you do in fitness and nutrition!  


Get started with me today !!! Contact me for more details about pricing and how YOU can really start on your own personal wellness journey ! If you are serious about getting results I am here to guide you!


The Key is to be CONSISTENT !

Being consistent is the bigger battle of exercise that many people face. The most realistic goal is to simply get into an exercise plan that adds strength progressively and teaches you proper form while bringing out the shape of your muscles. Further, to make your effort worthwhile, this exercise plan should allow you to continue burning fat for hours after the end of each workout by offering a few tweaks you can employ once you’ve established a certain amount of base fitness.
This curcuit is a plan that is based on a unique combination of exercises you can do at home or at the gym. It requires very little gear: a Swiss or physioball, a pair of dumbbells, preferably with adjustable weights, and a bench or box or a set of stairs onto which you can step up. Per workout, you’ll also need approximately only 20 minutes to devote on each of three nonconsecutive days during your week for a total of one hour of effort.
As you move up the intensity ladder, you’ll see the benefits!!
The circuit promotes not only fat loss but also endurance capacity and cardiovascular health. When you further increase the workout’s intensity, by reducing rest time or adding jogging in place, you improve your chances to burn fat for up to three days. That means burning fat almost continuously as long as you keep to the program.
The resistance aspect of the circuit, especially when you hit larger muscle groups like glutes and thighs or back or chest, adds to the fat-burning capacity of this Circuit.
You develop strength and enhance the look of your muscles, as well as improving your resting metabolic rate.
Research is beginning to show that high-intensity circuit training (as little as eight minutes of it) may improve insulin resistance, a benefit that reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The ultimate goal is to do three consecutive circuits, which should take 20 minutes to complete, give or take a minute or two. When you first begin, don’t push for three circuits. Try to complete one full circuit and see how you feel. If you have the energy and want to try a second circuit, go for it, but know that it’s OK to stop at any point. You don’t have to complete the second circuit. Just go until you can’t. Over time, your body will adapt (quickly, actually, as long as you avoid working out on consecutive days) and you’ll be able to go longer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chicken Again ?? Spice it Up a Bit !

Ohh what's for dinner ?? Chicken again... Sometimes it might seem like chicken for your meals can get BORING which might cause you to not want to eat healthy foods due to lack of "flavor". Chicken is perhaps the most popular source of protein when it comes to eating a healthy and its incorporated often and for good reason. Chicken breast provides about 30 g of protein in a 100 g serving and is fairly low in fat, compared to other meat proteins. If you are tired of eating plain, dull chicken breasts you need to give these flavor boosting meals a shot !
-Create a marinade with mustard using white wine vinegar or balsamic mustard for a tangier taste. Mix this with a few fresh herbs like sage and tarragon and a tbsp or two of olive oil. You can always try out different flavors like Dijon or Spicy but ALWAYS check the ingredients and the calories because sugar can be added to mustard often to create that sweet and tangy flavor !
-Chicken marinated with lemon or lime can provide a fresh summertime taste. Create an Italian or Greek flavor by mixing olive oil, oregano, garlic and fresh lemon. Grill or bake chicken after a few hours of marinating. This mix also goes amazingly well with a yogurt-based dressing or tzatziki dip. Make your own by mixing non-fat Greek yogurt with olive oil, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice and dill or mint.
-Hungry for Taco Tuesday but don't want to ruin your diet ??Marinade your chicken with lime juice, chopped chilies (or chipotle spice), olive oil and garlic. Bake or grill chicken after marinating. After cooking, chop your chicken and serve on top of brown rice with a low fat, low sugar salsa. Or, try making a guacamole using lime juice, mashed avocado and tomatoes. Make a Mexican-inspired salad using chopped chicken, romaine, tomatoes, red onion, peppers and a few black beans.
-Fried chicken is loaded in calories and fat. But there is a way that you can recreate this by using shredded coconut and almond flour which also is gluten free. Begin by cutting chicken into strips. Dip chicken into a mixture of egg whites, unsweetened coconut milk and lime. After dipping in the egg white wash, coat with a mix of coconut and almond flour. Bake for 20 minutes on 400 F, flipping after 10 minutes of baking. This coco-nutty chicken matches pairs well with a freshly made mango-avocado salsa, or a fruity green salad that combines spinach, kale and fresh raspberries.
-Balsamic vinegar, cooked from a reduction of white grapes, provides a rich flavor and lends a Mediterranean flare to any dish. Marinate chicken in balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, olive oil and garlic. You can grill or roast your chicken after marinating, for one to two hours max. If you marinade it too long, this acidic marinade will start to break down the chicken breast! Serve the balsamic chicken with a spinach and strawberry salad.
-Feeling like you can enjoy a Thai dish on a weeknight ? Blend a gluten free, msg free, lite soy sauce with lime juice, hot chili peppers, smooth natural peanut butter and sesame oil to create a dressing for a Thai-inspired chicken salad. To make the salad, combine the dressing with chopped cooked chicken, romaine, grated carrot, mango, cucumbers and scallions. Not in the mood for salad? Marinate chicken in the dressing and bake or grill chicken as satays.
Take some or all of these ideas and get creative in the kitchen !

Monday, July 13, 2015

Find BALANCE through the CRAZY!

Typically, when we want to get our weight or health back on track, we develop a "plan" to eat healthier and make a promise ourselves to start hitting the gym. This is a great start. Sedentary lifestyles and inappropriate food choices definitely play major roles in our nation’s obesity and health epidemics.
The problem is there are many other areas of our lives that can affect both our weight and our health.The four areas that you might need to change around are sleep, stress management, vitamin D, and social relationships.
The easiest one to fix is your sleeping habits. One night of sleep deprivation can alter our hormones and increase our caloric intake by up to 600 calories without you even realizing it. According to research, over the course of a week, sleep deprivation of roughly 5.5 hours per night increased caloric intake with no change in energy expenditure. It also altered the leptin and ghrelin hormones, setting the stage to promote obesity.1 Leptin is the hormone responsible for telling us when to eat and how much fat to store. Ghrelin tells us when we are hungry. Both hormones have been implicated in obesity.
If your hormones get out of sync and drive hunger cravings, you will most likely reach for foods that are not ideal for our goals. How often do you crave broccoli when you’re tired? Most of us will crave our favorite sweet treats loaded in sugar to "comfort" ourselves.Make sure you are getting seven to nine hours of sleep in a completely blacked-out room. This will make sure you are recovering from workouts and help make a switch to eating real foods easier due to the decrease in hunger and cravings.
SaraBurda's photo.Our body is built upon a balance system. We need balance between our sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight) and our parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest). Exercise elicits a response from our sympathetic nervous system, while activities such as mindful meditation, deep breathing, and going for a walk while listening to relaxing music elicit a response from our parasympathetic nervous system.To balance this, we need to actively take part in activities that reduce our stress levels.
Know how much Vitamin D you are getting to prevent hunger cravings and keep your body functioning properly. Research suggests to me that vitamin D may play a role as an energy homeostatic hormone in the hypothalamus by telling us how much food to eat.All of this is important because anywhere between 40 to 75% of the population may be deficient in vitamin D. So, get your vitamin D checked twice per year and make sure the values fall between 40 to 60ng/ml.
Make sure to spend time with QUALITY people. You are a vision The reason social relationships may be so important might be due to a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin may play a role as an immunoregulatory hormone. It has been shown to be released during times of infection and interact with inflammatory markers.All too often people make drastic changes to their diet that can lead to social isolation. Make sure you explain to your friends, family, and coworkers why you are making changes and ask that they be supportive of your work to better your health. If you are having trouble finding supportive friends, there are plenty of communities and groups of like-minded people you could seek out to create positive social relationships.
When attempting to take control of your health, there are a number of areas we need to pay attention to. Exercise and nutrition are important, but so are sleep, stress management, vitamin D, and social relationships. These areas, if neglected, can lead us to eat more and have higher mortality rates.
Take a quick assessment of your life and see how you are performing in each of these areas. Fix the weakest inks and pay attention to how you look, feel, and perform. I think you will be happily surprised with the results.

Friday, July 10, 2015


So you are following a new plan for healthy eating. You are watching the food you are eating, making healthy choices and see progress! There’s just one problem: You’re hungry. No, its beyond that you are now hangry.

Two-thirds of Americans will say they are dieting at any point in the year, BUT only 20% of those dieters will succeed over the long haul. What’s up with that?

There are several reasons for dietary failure, including underestimating the number of calories consumed and overestimating the number of calories burned during exercise. Thanks to the "calorie" counter on those machines that are greatly skewed making you believe your burning MORE when really it's a whole lots less. But the first hurdle every dieter will face, regardless of other factors, is the same: hunger.

So what do you do when your hungry ?? Here are some tips that you can implement into your daily routine to keep you satisfied and full !

-Start with a HUGE salad but hold the dressing ! The greens will help fill you up, adding lots of quality nutrients with very few calories. Just be sure to skip the high-fat condiments and dressings; stick with salt and pepper, lemon juice or vinegar instead. Your body, hair and skin will thank you for it later.

-Include high-volume, low-calorie foods in meals and snacks, like fruits and veggies. Fiber increases the volume of food, but not the calorie density, and can suppress hunger.

-Eat fat to fight fat! Good fats fight fat and help you feel fuller longer. Almonds are a natural appetite suppressant. People who snacked on 1.5 ounces of almonds a day ate less overall and didn’t put on weight. Another healthy fat, omega-3 which is found in fish like salmon, tuna and herring increases your system’s leptin level. This hormone is responsible for sending the message of satiety to the brain.

-Skip the sugar high. Sugar causes an insulin spike in the body. and when it falls, you will feel hungry.This can quickly put you on a downward spiral because your brain sends signals seeking to maintain the spike and you continue to crave something sweet.Sugar is about as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Don’t become an addict.

-The best supplements for curbing appetite cravings are amino acids, which form the basis for the brain chemicals that signal hunger.These are found in the form of BCAA.A free-form blend of BCAA's bypasses the digestion process and is easily absorbed by the body to be used in protein, neuropeptide and neurotransmitter synthesis. The blend of all the essential amino acids provides a foundation on which you can build a targeted treatment program. Whether you take amino acids in pill or powder form, they’re best absorbed when taken between meals either 30 minutes before or two hours after eating.

-Sometimes, all you need to get your mind off your stomach is the right distraction. Go for a walk; get some fresh air. You might just be BORED ! Distract yourself and paint your nails ! You can't eat with wet nails !

Using these tips you can increase your success ! A craving typically lasts about 12 minutes. If you can find a way to conquer that 12-minute window, you’ve developed a powerful tool that will set you up for long-term success. I encourage you to find support and know how to ask for it. Short-term temptations should not navigate you away from your long-term goal. Focus on the progress you’re making, and find the support you need to get through the challenge.